Are you contemplating a move away from big-city bustle but worried you won’t have access to the same quality internet? Rural Canadians do experience slower internet speeds in some areas because of a lack of investment in infrastructure by major internet service providers, but this is changing. In Ontario, Wave Direct is a wireless rural internet provider who’s changing the game for residents outside metropolitan city limits.
Rather than connecting to mobile networks or connecting your receiver directly to a satellite signal, Wave Direct uses locally installed wireless equipment to transmit a signal directly to your home. This is a system that doesn’t compete for bandwidth with mobile networks and can have better signal reliability than satellite in inclement weather. Because this is a relatively new technology, many people wonder whether they can game or stream movies with this type of service.
Subscribers to Netflix, Hulu, and other video content providers may need minimum download speeds of 10 megabits per second to reduce issues with buffering along with an unlimited data plan to avoid overage fees. Regardless of the speed, you determine how many users will be actively streaming or using other online services at the same time when you consider which plan is right for you.
Because Wave Direct offers plans with speeds up to 25 megabits per second, your household will likely be able to enjoy all the benefits of metropolitan service without the hassle and expense of living there. If you want to stream high-definition videos, and especially if you have multiple users in the household, a 25 mpbs plan may provide the best level of service.
Because 10 mpbs is low enough for noticeable lag while gaming, rural players may want to have a system that provides a minimum 15 mpbs along with a public IP address. Gamers may also need to tweak various hardware and software settings to get peak performance, and watch for vampire devices on the network that suck up bandwidth by continually updating in the background.
Even at the lowest speeds some rural internet providers offer (between 5 and 7 mbps), online users scrolling through social media or watching YouTube videos will still be able to function, although buffering and delays loading pictures may occur. This speed is still an improvement over typical 3G network speeds, so if you’ve been using your mobile network for social media, wireless internet could provide a welcome relief.
Optimizing your internet speed
Many households direct their internet signal through a Wi-Fi router to send signals to a variety of mobile and smart devices. Placement of your router is critical, especially if your kitchen is in a central location with appliances that could interfere with the signal. Elevating your router can help, as will replacing the factory antennas with a higher-capacity model.
The most important thing you can do for all of your internet equipment and software is to close your network and reset the password or passkey to a secure one. You can monitor whether your neighbors are connecting to your network but keeping intruders out with a closed connection is always the safest option. Remember that mobile apps such as news, game, and social media apps will constantly update in the background unless you change the settings, so if you’re experiencing a slowdown while streaming movies, you can disconnect nonessential mobile devices or put them in airplane mode.
When all else fails, reboot. The reboot process will often push new software patches out to hardware devices, but, more important, it will clear the memory and give your devices a fresh start. Select an ISP with excellent customer service reviews and plenty of troubleshooting FAQs, then get the popcorn and blanket ready for your next binge-watch.